Thursday, August 28, 2008

Soup

I have a cold, have had it for over a week now. Today, I'm working for home, and so made myself some quick chicken noodle soup using Ramen noodles, some left over chicken, and some old carrots lingering in the fridge.

I'm now at my desk, trying to finish coding deliberations, and supping.

I find it remarkably comforting. The warmth of the broth, the slippery-ness of the noodles, the sweetness of the carrots.

When I think of soup, I think of my mom. I ate a lot of soup thanks to her. When the cupboards and fridge were bare, and they often were, she could pull together a soup out of anything. One I remember most vividly is a carrot hamburger concoction.

We were living in a trailer that was part of a tiny little trailer park sandwiched in a narrow valley outside of Rapid City, S.D. in the Black Hills. This was around 1984. I was 12.

The crazy 1970s era trailer was one story in front and two stories at the back: teeny bedrooms above and below. It was blue. There was a hole in the roof in the living room where a wood stove should have been. The kitchen was at the front. It was summer.

At lunchtime one day, my brother and I came in from playing with the other kids in the trailer park, mostly illegal Mexican immigrants. We were starving. Mom hunted through the cupboards and fridge and found some beef broth, some wilty carrots, and a package of hamburgee. Twenty minutes later we had soup.

It was delicious.

I still think fondly of that soup. I've tried to reproduce it a few times, but it never tasted as sweet or as salty as what my memory says it should be. When you have little, such simple fare becomes all the more satisfying.

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